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Selke

Infertile: Fewer Kids vs. None

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Infertility sucks. It is known. My question for the peanut gallery: does it suck more interestingly if it makes a hero have fewer children instead of no children?

Currently, it's the clear, number 1 dealbreaker. There are other sucky Traits - Slow, Asthmatic, and Slow Learner come to mind - but you might overlook one of those if a hero has two other good Traits. Not so for Infertile, which straight up disqualifies the unit as a Regent or Partner - one of the key reasons to bring a unit into battle in the first place. Instead, you can consider them for Standard-hood, try to grind Relics out of them, or (most likely) leave them on the bench until the Sagewrights have a vacancy.

Aside from being disproportionately debilitating, this also has the side effect of the trait removing itself from the gene pool after the first generation. It can still come up via hero recruitment, but it's very rare to come out of breeding. You might start the game with 6 Infertile units and never see another one due to the simple fact that they'll never be a parent.

Conversely, if "Infertile" is code for "Low Sperm Count" rather than "Vasectomy," the cost/gain of installing one as regent is a little more nuanced. It still sucks, but if the game generates a bunch of starting heroes with Infertile, you may still roll the dice on them due to other Traits. That in turn has the side effect of them giving birth to Infertile children, meaning the trait becomes a generational complication (like other negative Traits) rather than an early-game roadblock.

Thoughts?

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Infertility sucks. It is known. My question for the peanut gallery: does it suck more interestingly if it makes a hero have fewer children instead of no children?

Currently, it's the clear, number 1 dealbreaker. There are other sucky Traits - Slow, Asthmatic, and Slow Learner come to mind - but you might overlook one of those if a hero has two other good Traits. Not so for Infertile, which straight up disqualifies the unit as a Regent or Partner - one of the key reasons to bring a unit into battle in the first place. Instead, you can consider them for Standard-hood, try to grind Relics out of them, or (most likely) leave them on the bench until the Sagewrights have a vacancy.

Aside from being disproportionately debilitating, this also has the side effect of the trait removing itself from the gene pool after the first generation. It can still come up via hero recruitment, but you might start the game with 6 Infertile units and never see another one due to the simple fact that they'll never breed.

Conversely, if "Infertile" is code for "Low Sperm Count" rather than "Vasectomy," the cost/gain of installing one as regent is a little more nuanced. It still sucks, but if the game generates a bunch of starting heroes with Infertile, you may still roll the dice on them due to other Traits. That in turn has the side effect of them giving birth to Infertile children, meaning the trait becomes a generational complication (like other negative Traits) rather than an early-game roadblock.

Thoughts?

I don't know, honestly. I've no problem, conceptually, with infertile heroes. There are places for them, although it's certainly limiting. But part of it is why I've always conceptually put infertile heroes together with same-sex partners... if you put either in a keep you're reliant on adoption. Adoption has the potential to be an interesting mechanic as it's a way of introducing new traits or limiting the passing on of bad traits, but right you'd have to be either desperate (i.e you have no other good options) or foolish to try it if you don't know you're in a very comfortable position hero-wise. So I still think that making adoption a bit less punishing would help turn it into a side-strategy, rather than a sort of emergency panic safety net kinda thing.

And if it was that, then maybe installing an infertile regent once in a while would be an interesting, perhaps slightly risky strategic gambit rather than a recipe for failure.

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Aside from being disproportionately debilitating, this also has the side effect of the trait removing itself from the gene pool after the first generation.

I agree with this.

I think a "Low fertility" trait would be interesting. Breeding a Hero with "Low fertility" would be really risky, yet it could be the "least worst" when all the others are Slow/Reveler/astmathic/etc.

However, I am not against the "Infertile" trait, though its appearance could be even more reduced if a "Low fertility" trait is added.

The implication of Traits like "Low fertility" and "Infertile" are that they make the game more difficult. Their appearance could/should be linked to the difficulty level.

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My second run through MASSIVE CHALICE gave me an odd % of infertile people at start. Over half of my unit's were Infertile, and more often then naught, they had the better traits and personalities.

From what i see, Infertile are not a bad thing to have. More insentive to 'Sacrefice' them in battle, make them a Sagewright. (1 Intuition is better then none). But i had to keep shelling out 5 years at a time to recruit new hero's just to keep my run stable. (didnt make it past 100 years that run).

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Aside from being disproportionately debilitating, this also has the side effect of the trait removing itself from the gene pool after the first generation.

I agree with this.

I think a "Low fertility" trait would be interesting. Breeding a Hero with "Low fertility" would be really risky, yet it could be the "least worst" when all the others are Slow/Reveler/astmathic/etc.

However, I am not against the "Infertile" trait, though its appearance could be even more reduced if a "Low fertility" trait is added.

The implication of Traits like "Low fertility" and "Infertile" are that they make the game more difficult. Their appearance could/should be linked to the difficulty level.

Hm, I might be on board with 4 levels of fertility:

Infertile; Low Fertility; Normal; Bountiful

I kind of like the extra dimension of low infertility, but I am not sure I am sold on 4 levels instead of 3 yet.

Smiles

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We're going to look at this for sure! Right now INFERTILE is the opposite of BOUNTIFUL and that doesn't really make any sense! :D

I think we should change it to be:

BOUNTIFUL

Normal

LESS FERTILE (anyone have a sweet name for this one?)

and then a special rare trait of INFERTILE

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LESS FERTILE (anyone have a sweet name for this one?)

"Just a few knockin' around"

In seriousness, hm, 'subfertile' is an actual term evidently according to Wikipedia for Infertility:

"A couple that tries unsuccessfully to have a child after a certain period of time (often a short period, but definitions vary) is sometimes said to be subfertile, meaning less fertile than a typical couple. Both infertility and subfertility are defined as the inability to conceive after a certain period of time (the length of which vary), so often the two terms overlap."

But that in general is pretty, rote and cold sounding. "Unfruitful" or "Fruitless" -- but those seems like they could also potentially describe the 'normal' fertility too. "Desolate Loins" ha.

I think I would settle on perhaps "Languid" - from the OED: Of a person, animal, bodily function, etc.: weak, faint, or inert, esp. from illness or fatigue; lacking vitality or vigour, listless. ...

or perhaps "Meager" -- from the OED: Deficient or inferior in quantity, size, or quality; poor, scanty.

or perhaps "Anaemic" -- from the OED: "Lacking in vigour, strength, or spirit. colloq." <-- This one obviously also refers to "bloodless, ill-supplied with blood" which is kind of funny for our "Bloodline" emphasis.

Smiles

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We're going to look at this for sure! Right now INFERTILE is the opposite of BOUNTIFUL and that doesn't really make any sense! :D

I think we should change it to be:

BOUNTIFUL

Normal

LESS FERTILE (anyone have a sweet name for this one?)

and then a special rare trait of INFERTILE

I really think low fertility is the clearest way to say it. You could go with low sperm count or the medical term, oligospermia, but that's not cool. And there isn't really a good antonym for bountiful that applies, at least not that I can think of.

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Languid is a good one, and probably preferable to my first thought of "One Pea Short of a Pod." (I swear, if I were lead designer the whole game would be impenetrably full of silly sayings and puns.) Anemic is thematically cute, but it feels like it overlaps with Sickly (lower Max HP).

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I'm going to second Desolate Loins. That's hilarious.

I really like the idea of minimizing the occurrence of Infertility and balancing the amount of babies all around.

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If you put same sex partners in a keep, they should automatically try to adopt. Have it at a lower rate than trying to have people give birth, but still less dumb than making them completely non-viable unless you are tapped out of units.

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But isn't there already a "Low Fertility" albeit an eventuality when they age?

As much as "Bountiful" adds up to "High fertility" when the Hero has a young age, "Marital disdain" will add up to "Old age"... although this sounds like a personnality trait.

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But isn't there already a "Low Fertility" albeit an eventuality when they age?

4 rates right? Bountiful, Normal, Less Fertile, Infertile. With slightly richer names. So you've got Traits and Personality. One thing could be to stretch these a little, with traits and personality.

Bountiful

Personality. Alluring.

Trait. Bountiful.

Normal

Personality. No Descriptor.

Trait. No Descriptor.

Less Fertile

Personality. Chaste. Prudish.

Trait. Inbreed. (I think this should be ... very carefully worked out, it's a little more complicated than first assumed.)

Infertile

Personality. Asexual.

Trait. Impotent. (Can be reversed rarely/miracles).

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